Earlier this year, Bridges to Housing was selected as a “Promising Practice” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is a huge honor, and we were thrilled to be named along with other great programs serving homeless families across the U.S. The study commissioned by HHS focused on local programs that linked services plus housing for families. The goal of the study was to identify interesting promising models and understand how the models link mainstream services with housing supports. We are very excited to receive this recognition of the success of the Bridges to Housing model!
Bridges to Housing is a coordinated regional response in the Portland-metropolitan area to the crisis of family homelessness, and has been administered by Neighborhood Partnerships since 2006. This project has brought together county and city governments, housing providers, service providers, housing authorities, and state government programs in the four-county, Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, including Clark County, Washington, and Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties in Oregon. It continues to serve high-need homeless families who are experiencing multiple barriers to stability, providing permanently affordable housing; intensive case management for up to three years in a needs-based, client-driven model; and access to other supportive services.
In the future, Neighborhood Partnerships will begin transitioning its role as administrator of the program as the four-county coordinated effort ends. Each county is now funding Bridges to Housing units through commitments of county general funds, section 8 vouchers or other housing vouchers, and other locally controlled funds. We’re so excited to see how successful this program is – not just in terms of county commitment, but also for families. Bridges to Housing has filled a huge gap in our continuum of housing services for families, providing people with longer term case management and housing subsidy while they work to get back on a path towards stability.
The final evaluation report for Bridges to Housing is due to be released in July 2012. We’re eagerly anticipating the results – check back soon for more details. In the meantime, you can read previously released reports here: http://bridgestohousing.org/impacteval.php, or download a copy of the promising practice report here: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/11/FamilyHomelessness/rb.pdf.